Parking Madness 2019 Round 1: DC Pike vs. Indianapolis

pike vs indy

We’ve got a barn-burner for you today, but first, let’s look back at where we are in our first round matchups:

parking madness 2019_dc pike

We’ve closed the polls on some earlier matchups, with Houston narrowly defeating Boston, Pittsburgh also squeaking by Portland, and Providence absolutely destroying Austin (we suppose that happens when an entire city is completely reimagined rather than just a developer building a nice building on a former parking crater).

But those earlier battles were just prologue for today’s matchup featuring a neighborhood in our nation’s capital against a piece of the heartland. Here goes:


This entry comes from Friend of Streetsblog Maren Hill, who told us about the development of Pike & Rose, a new mixed-use neighborhood on the Rockville Pike in the DC suburb of Montgomery County:

The area was formerly a strip mall but has been redeveloped with pedestrian scale streets, public parks and artwork, and squares with street furniture and events. The area now includes condos and apartments, bars, restaurants, and retail (both chain and local), and offices, The building architecture is all unique so it doesn’t look like some creepy model city project, it looks like an attractive walkable neighborhood.  Pike & Rose is on Metro, and has nearby existing and planned bike infrastructure.

Hill added that the neighborhood is “a great example of the suburbs doing transit oriented mixed-use redevelopment not infill development to transform their parking craters.” The photos below tell the story:

Pike and Rose before and after

This one comes to us from reader Austin Gibble, who called his Indianapolis submission a “most improved parking crater” and provided aerial and streetview imagery from 2014 and 2018.

“The additions include a transit center, a 28-story residential tower with a grocery store, apartments attached to the side of what was a single-use parking garage, and other mixed-use developments,” Gibble said.

Indianapolis Streetview 2014

Indianapolis Streetview 2018

Indianapolis Aerial 2014

Indianapolis Aerial 2018

So who will move on? Vote below:

8 thoughts on Parking Madness 2019 Round 1: DC Pike vs. Indianapolis

  1. Indy’s also includes a new transit center, just an FYI 😉 You can see it in the lower portion of the photograph.

  2. Indy’s story of change there is a huge one, I lived in one of those apartments on the left side of the second photo and the number of people walking and biking to things from this place is nothing but a remarkable change towards sustainability and vibrancy.

  3. They’re both good, but I’m giving the nod to Indy because they fixed up the street too. The DC Pike re-development is still surrounded by a moat of wide and dangerous arterial stroads.

  4. If you look closely on Streetview you can find several parking garages in the Park & Rose project. One is 5 stories, another is 4 stories, and another is 3 stories. There may even be more. Just looking from the satellite view you don’t see the parking garages, in-fact the 4-story garage has a green roof. There is fairly close to as much parking as there was there before redevelopment but it is fairly well hidden. The Indy site has at-least one good-sized parking garage too which appears to be 7 stories. Stacking parking in a multi-level garage makes for more land available for other uses but there is still plenty of parking available on both these sites.

  5. Apples and Oranges–one’s in the city where there should be density, while the other is part of one of suburban DC’s largest stretches of retail (about 3 miles of retail, broken by a municipal center). Pike & Rose (behind where I work) has almost entirely chain retail and other than REI (which faces busy Rockville Pike unlike other retail), the stores never seem to have customers. The restaurants, which generally are doing better than the retail, are probably more chain than local (and the locals are local chains). The hidden aspect of the parking is both a positive and a negative–the one carryover from the old strip (which had long running local retail as well as classics like the no longer in business ToysRUs) was La Madeline, a french bistro-themed cafeteria-style fast casual restaurant–LaMad was very popular with local seniors, but the hidden parking seems to have been the main reason La Mad failed in the new complex. The downside to the development in Indy is that it’s in Indy–one can only hope that the surprisingly long, but inevitable death of Circle Centre will help downtown create more of a pedestrian environment rather than uninviting environments like this new one (narrow side walks too close to the street and no one walking, it seems).

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Parking Madness 2019 Round 1: DC MVT vs. Toronto

The nation’s capital makes its second appearance in our annual Parking Madness battle, this time with a neighborhood going head to head against Toronto. But first, an update: We’ve closed the polls on some earlier matchups, with Houston narrowly defeating Boston, Pittsburgh also squeaking by Portland, and Providence absolutely destroying Austin (we suppose that happens when an entire city […]